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Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2017-05-24

Comedy fans might remember the late, great Rodney Dangerfield, whose persona was the lovable loser who unjustly received “no respect’ from the world around him.


Email may have a lot in common with Rodney. Although it tops the marketing charts in ROI, it often falls short in receiving the respect it deserves.


While other “hot” marketing initiatives (such as account-based marketing, social media and more) seem to get all the attention, email continues to deliver results day in and day out. In fact, a new Email Marketing Industry Census report by eConsultancy shows that email alone is credited with producing almost a quarter (22%) of sales.


Thirty percent of marketers surveyed in the report say that their top priority is now personalization; just ahead of automated email campaigns (28%). The research seems to show an increase in email marketers’ confidence in creating and establishing automated campaigns – 67% say they are now “very” or “quite” successful in implementing automated campaigns. At the same time, email marketers are also growing more confident in email personalization – 15% believe they are making inroads here compared to only 8% claiming proficiency in last year’s census.


Even as email confidence rises, the report shows that email budgets don’t seem to rise at the same time. In fact, as a marketing channel, email simply doesn’t get the support and respect it deserves. Maybe this is because of the “shiny object” appeal of the latest marketing trends and technologies, or perhaps email is so pervasive and reliable that Millennials (and even emerging Generation Z) take it for granted.


But when the data indicates that only one-seventh of marketing budgets go to email, yet it drives nearly one-fourth of sales, this seems to be a stat that marketers can (and should) use to justify increases in their email activities and budgets. On the flip side, this data also shows just how cost effective email is, and what it can accomplish without the financial investment required by other marketing channels.


What else is delivering marketing ROI today? Influencer marketing seems to be gaining traction in the B2C world. According to a new report by Tomoson, 22% of digital marketers named influencer marketing as their most cost-effective way of winning new customers, and ranked it ahead of other marketing initiatives such as search optimization and paid search.


But tied for first (also at 22%) in the same report for the most cost-effective route for customer acquisition was email. While the B2C value of influencer marketing and the benefits of getting influential people to recommend your products or services is clear, the ROI on these efforts seem to pale in comparison to the ROI delivered by email for B2B marketers:


  • For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI. (Campaign Monitor)
  • Email marketing has an ROI of 3800%. (DMA)
  • The average order value of an email is at least three times higher than that of social media. (McKinsey)

Veteran B2B email marketers may find the latest surveys of little surprise, as they know all too well that email is a go-to channel, and it rarely gets the credit it deserves. However, they also know that when marketing planning is underway, and when results are analyzed and budgets are scrutinized, email has proven its metal for customer acquisition and a robust ROI. And those are success figures that should generate the attention – and respect – of any executive approving marketing plans and budgets for the rest of the year.


Rodney Dangerfield himself would be pleased.



Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can help you achieve better email marketing ROI, and convert more prospects into customers. Ask us how. Also, take a look at our complimentary new e-book on building a successful B2B email marketing database. 

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At OMI, we believe good things happen when you share your knowledge. That's why we're proud to educate marketers at every level - in every size and type of organization - about the basics of email marketing and the contact data that powers it.

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